Saturday, June 4, 2011

Another Good Idea

I got my first skateboard in 1967, when I was six years old.  It was a pretty crude affair, consisting of a length of board with with the two halves of a metal-wheeled skate bolted to each end.  Daddy and I had seen a magazine picture of someone skateboarding, and I told him I wanted to try it.  So, he went out to the garage and made me a board.

It was a bumpy ride, to say the least.  The 18-inch long 2X4 board didn't have a lot of flex (at least with my scrawny 40 pounds on it), and the metal wheels were totally unforgiving if you hit a piece of pea gravel or a crack in the road.  But, I loved it, and thought I was California Cool, when I rode it.

One day, I had the board up at the Dead End, and Daniel Taylor was there on his bike.  We messed around for a while, and I complained about how hard it was to get enough speed up to just ride along on the board.  I kept having to push with my foot, and I wanted to just surf along.

So, we got his sister's jump rope, and tied it to the sissy bar of his StingRay.  I stood on the board, holding the rope like a skier behind a boat, and Daniel pedaled his bike away.  It was awesome!  I stood on the board, holding the rope with one hand, using my other outstretched arm to help maintain my balance.  I really felt like I was sidewalk surfin', like the kid in the magazine.

Then, Daniel came to the point where the Dead End intersected Shacklett Drive, and he stopped.  We weren't allowed to ride past that point.  I, however, did not stop.  I had no brakes, and no knowledge of how to stop a board without just bailing off, and I was cooking along at a pretty high rate of speed.

The Rules of Momma couldn't overrule the Laws of Physics, at that point.

I did stop, eventually, not by bailing but by hitting some loose gravel near the side of the road.  Daniel said I turned three complete flips before I hit the ground, but I think he was exagerating.  It couldn't have been more than two and a half, because I landed on my back.  Three flips would have landed me on my stomach.

In the eternal wisdom of youth, we continued surfing behind the bike, that summer, taking turns on the board.  We just aimed for the grassy ditch when we had to stop.  We still turned a few somersaults, but at least we landed in the grass!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  I was a dumb little kid.



  1. Experience matters, even if it was earned the hard way! I am reminded of Napoleon Dynamite :)

    Peace :)

  2. Exactly. Me and my friends did the same thing.

    You and I are about the same age, and I am continually amazed by your stories. While I was doing those things in Texas, you were apparently doing them somewhere many miles away. Very cool.

  3. Growing up in Seattle, we towed wooden hydroplanes behind our bikes. Miss Bardahl rules!


As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.